Cofounder · MVP Development

Hello, does anyone know the easiest way to get a software app/web MVP up and running at reasonable cost?

Nick Arch

June 25th, 2020

martin webb Founder Tudodesk (Looking for a marketer, sales, content builder)

June 25th, 2020

OK. I could be bringing some hate on myself here.


But since I have 40 years experience in this question - I would imagine this might help someone.


So, this is a bit like asking does anyone know how to get a rocket in-orbit around the moon; when we all know the end goal is for you to colonise it.


Sounds absurd? Here me out.


The business model of most modern day software is launch an MVP and if it works/gets traction quickly iterate it to a product where by you can charge decent money perhaps monthly, add features, fit market match, enter new markets, add features, grow users and grow revenue into a nice business. I would assume that's what most of us are trying to do.


The bottom line is from the out-set, this business is a tech business, its mission is to build, run and provide a software service, that users will rely, trust and pay money to.


And that is where I see the problem.


If you look at just about any (OK 75% or so) software business's you will always find the team(again most/all the team perhaps excluding one) have the technical skills to build the MVP in sub 3 months and then quickly iterate its build to fit market and collect revenue.


So at this point we can all assume I'm making the claim that if you want a software business you have to be a developer. Yeah I am, if you want to sing you need to be a singer, if you want to dance you need to be a dancer. Let's be realistic.


But, before you all sigh, or stone me for saying it. Here is the thing.


There are always exceptions.


Exception 1.

You have an idea, your kick ass at business, marketing and all that stuff, and you have a partner who is the tech guy.


Exception 2.

You have a lot of money.


Exception 3.

Your gifted at finding people who will deliver your million dollar dream on the cheap, work night and day, always answer your messages in sub 3 mins when you have issues and just dam right slave for you. Rare?


And here is why.


1. Building software is extremely time consuming and expensive. The time to build all of the workings of a real money taking product is 100x that of making an MVP. Security, GDPR, Sever management, Subscription management, On-boarding screens, set-up screens, Importing and exporting of data, Deletion of old accounts, the list is just over-whelming.

2. Building software ends in failing more often that not, unless you are good at product design, implementation and market fit.

3. Software does not run its self. Modern software especially that built fast using a bunch of tools needs maintenance and management, if your users pay you well they probably use it night and day, and run millions of transactions, someone needs to be monitoring it and fixing issues on the fly.

4. Users are demanding especially when you need to on-board/find market fit - who will listen to needs, who will implement needs at product level?

5. Its an illusion your software will just attract money and that money will fuel all these issues. That would be like playing football and assuming your be David Beckham, Your opening a coffee shop and your be Starbucks, You can sing a song and your be Justin Beiber. Reality check: Those are all exceptions to the rule. Billions of people are failing at all of those professions.

6. An MVP is a Minimum Viable Product - If you find a fast way to find it, how will you find a fast way to solve all of the problems above.


My advise:


If you cant build a MVP in 3 months yourself, that once built you can pretty much claim if it works you can scale it until you make enough revenue to bring in a small team, who can they take your product (running) and scale it;


Otherwise:


Find a co-founder who can. Find a partner who will take 50% share in your idea, believe in it and in you, and invest everything to make this great idea happen.


Of course: The hardest bit of all. Qualify the idea first by faking it and making sure people will pay you upfront for it.


If I could nail down the sort of team I would want to launch any business even at MVP level to make it work I would want


1. A kick ass developer (full stack)

2. Web designer/front end/fill in and help (1)

3. Business Guy - Kick ass (Full stack business skills)

4. Growth hacker+Content writer/fill in help (2,3)

5. All rounder - Good with people, Support, Help, blogging (fill in (1,2,3,4))


This could be reduced to 3, and on exceptions this can be reduced to 1.







Jeff Lillibridge Digital jack of all trades and idea guy

June 25th, 2020

Bubble - a nocode tool that you can build basically any web app imaginable. I've used it to build a few things and it's the best hands down. Let me know if you have any questions. https://bubble.io/

Sebastian Scheerer Co-Founder of Wunderlist & ottonova Health Insurance

Last updated on June 25th, 2020

Depends on the functionality. Webflow in combination with Zapier/Airtable/Member stack etc is also quite powerful.


Have you already validated the idea? A lot of times this is the cheapest and fastest way to find out wether it’s worth pursuing. Just build a design mock-up and a landing page where you collect early sign ups. Drive some paid traffic to it and see what your CAC and conversion rates are.

Girish Surve Aka genxt I am working as IT Manager

June 25th, 2020

Get yourself register on fiverr...you get all reasonable gigs..the best part is you can discus before you place or hire someone...i got many apps and website done with less spending's.

Jesse Tayler App Store Inventor, Startup Entrepreneur

June 25th, 2020

I used a process that works wonders for cost. I learned to program as a child and have done it every day since. I can make whatever I want for free!

Rich Cleeve CEO of Codestream, helping startups build great products

Last updated on June 25th, 2020

As some have said below, if you are testing an idea, then some of the no-code tools can be good for that depending on what you are building, but longer term the licensing fees start to get prohibitive.

Getting the MVP for a reasonable price is not too much of an issue usually (again depending on what you are building), but it can take longer than expected to find that product/market fit.

Evan Schalton

June 26th, 2020

If you don't need a lot of compute or relational database you can host a serverless webapp on aws. I have a site running right now: BLVote.com that costs about ~$2/month (mostly for reading/writing to a no sql db)

Zak Kann Co-founder and CTO

June 30th, 2020

Really depends on what you are building, who you are, and who the customers are (B2B vs. B2C mainly). If you can create a simple no-code or minimal code MVP and still prove your core assumptions, then do so. Things like concierge MVP's or simple landing pages can go far. Building an actual app can be a massive undertaking, and it just isn't worth it in 9/10 cases if there is a faster way.